– One thing that’s been true for time immemorialis that at some point, you will most likelybe a harried member of the sandwich generation.This is the time in your life when you’re caringnot only for children, but also for aging parentsand maybe even grandparents, as well.It also happens to be the time in your lifefor peak career growth and earning potential.No big deal.So, what should you be watching out forfinancially during this time?First, I can’t stress this enough, get life insurance.If you’re the glue holding everything together,at least get enough term coveragethat your income can be replaced.
And even if you don’t have an income,you should still have insurance.At the very least, your family will need to pay peopleto help take on your responsibilities.Have a will; again, should something happen to youprematurely, you want to have already plannedfor happens to your kids and your estate.Look into your parents’ or grandparents’financial health and preparedness.Now, this one’s not easy, but imagine the reliefif you knew that your father-in-lawhad prepaid funeral expenses and estate taxes,and had a long list of instructionsto follow in his top drawer.
Now, if things aren’t in order, your focus should beon ensuring your parents or grandparentshave a sustainable income for their retirement.And look into solutions to paying for longterm care.If you haven’t already, set up an education fundfor your children.Now, the need for this will be very differentdepending on what country you’re in.So do the research now on what costs are projected to bein the years when your kids will go on to higher education.Set up a direct deposit and consider askingfriends and relatives to contribute to these fundsin lieu of gifts.
Take care of your own financial health.Now, this one is hard.When you’re pulled in a million different directions,and your job seems to be keeping everyone else happy,think of this: This time will pass.You have this time to prepare for your own future.Don’t focus it all on keeping others happywhile forgetting about yourself.And don’t leave money on the tableby not taking advantage of tax-free retirement accountsand employer matches.Save for retirement, spend less than you earn,and don’t get into high-interest debt.
And invest, whether it’s in the property market,the stock market, or CDs.Put your money to work for you.You may think you don’t have enough money,but starting today is better than starting next year,and we all know how fast the years can go by.I hope that one day there’ll be much more transparencyaround money within families.And maybe the struggles of this sandwich generationwill be a thing of the past.In the meanwhile, focus on yourself and your family.Do your best to help those above and below youon the generational ladder,and hopefully your sandwich yearswill be positive ones for you.